FENNO: For Victor Page, reality of fall from stardom difficult to grasp

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Page’s voice rose an octave. Since-corroded glory seemed fresh in his mind.

“I have an agent. Talk to him. I don’t do interviews without getting paid.”

“Oh. We don’t pay for interviews. Who’s your agent?”

“Jerrod Mustaf.”

On the phone a few days later, the one-time Maryland standout and NBA first-round pick recalled representing Page starting around 2003. In the past tense. For four or five years, Mustaf tried to convince Page to pursue a job as a motivational speaker instead of clinging to the fading hopes of a basketball career.

When leaving Georgetown for the NBA after two seasons didn’t work out, Page played 157 games for the Continental Basketball Association’s Sioux Falls Skyforce through 2002 and, once, chased an opponent around the court with a broom.

Mustaf talked about his friend’s difficulties finding steady work. One address listed for Page in a 2012 court proceeding is an empty lot next to a meat processing plant in Maryland.

“I thought he’d be better served as a teacher to other kids, a guy who had so much going for him but mistakes led him to this,” Mustaf said. “He could offer them some sort of advice on how to avoid those pitfalls. … You’re a legend who had everything. Going to Georgetown. Wanting to play in the NBA. But poor decisions led me to this type of lifestyle.”

They last spoke several months ago. Mustaf had no idea Page was jailed.

“Sentenced to what?” Mustaf said. “Get out of here.”

Last month, a Prince George’s County Circuit Court judge sentenced Page to 10 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault. Page had been out of jail less than a month on unrelated charges when three Prince George’s County Sheriff’s deputies were summoned to a Forestville apartment at 1:03 a.m. on Feb. 8.

“The suspect jumped out of bed, pulled the victim’s hair tearing it from the scalp,” the statement of probable cause read. “He then dragged her to the bathroom, throwing her into the tub and running hot water on her while punching the victim repeatedly in the face.”

The statement continued: “The suspect then ran into the kitchen and grabbed a knife and stabbed the victim on her right hand and right thigh. The victim then ran outside as the suspect chased her with the knife and stated he was going to kill her.”

Court records show the same woman is the complainant in at least three previous cases against Page since 2009. I mention the woman’s name to Mustaf. His response almost jars the phone loose.

“[Page] warned me before this,” he said. “He said, ‘Hey, she’s tougher than any guy on the streets.’”

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